Then my husband and I spent four months hiking up the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to New Jersey. The stillness of mind that I found in the midst of the day to day grind of backpacking was truly my first authentic experience of meditation. Losing myself in the rhythm of it, absorbing the natural beauty all around me, gave me a taste of a spiritual connection that I craved more and more of.
Once we returned to what most would call normal life, I needed a means of fostering and evolving that connection. And the way that presented itself to me was yoga. The combination of movement, breath and sweat allowed me to let go and be right there, on the mat and in that moment. After a few years of developing my personal practice, I decided to merge a love and a gift. My love of yoga as expression through movement and my gift of being able to help others find joy through their own creative assertions.
Now that I have completed my yoga teacher certification at Thunderbolt, I am confident in my path and sure of my place on it. My creativity continues to flourish and my yoga practice blesses me with a peace that keeps the rest of my crazy life in perspective. My hope is that as I walk this path, I help the yogis who move with me to be strong, connected, happy and creatively expressed."
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Yoga Alliance RYT 199993
“Be Brave. Be Weird. Be Unequivocally You.”
Charlotte received her RYT 200 through Konalani Yoga Ashram, Hawaii in 2012.
As a self-proclaimed "non-athlete" who shied away from sports and gym class, I was surprised to find myself so drawn to yoga after my first lass. I was eighteen, awkward, and highly uncoordinated, but yoga offered me two valuable gifts --- permission to have a sense of gracefulness, and permission to forgive myself when I momentarily lose that grace; permission to be balanced and to fall. But school, friends, and life got in the way. After a very inconsistent home practice throughout college, I stopped doing yoga altogether during my early twenties. I lost my way, felt directionless. I would have denied it at the time, but I was falling into a deep state of depression. I was still getting up every day, going to work, paying my bills, but without a sense of purpose, I was simply going through the motions. I was surviving instead of living, and I felt incredibly alone.
Then little by little I found my way. I found a studio, rediscovered my practice, and although neither one was close to perfect, they felt like home to me. So after over a year of regular studio practice, I began to research teacher trainings and was drawn to a month-long immersion at an ashram in Hawaii. With the support and encouragement of friends, I took the plunge, got accepted into the training, and headed to Konalni Yoga Ashram in February of 2012. Training was intense, eye-opening, and a definite reality check that teaching would be much more challenging than I had originally thought. It is unsurprising, then, that I struggled so much as a new teacher back in Atlanta.
I put teaching on an indefinite hold and became a deeply committed student. My practice was stronger and more well-rounded than ever, and I also discovered and tapped into the lively and colorful acro yoga scene in town. But something was still missing.
And like clockwork, the invitation to teach at a brand-new, not-yet-open Thunderbolt seemed to fall into my lap. My ego, the small and scared version of myself, wanted to badly to say "No." But my true, curious self said "Just try." All I had to do was try. So I did, and I felt new, green, unsure. Then I remember something a teacher said to me right before I left for training -- "You don't learn to be a teacher during your training, you learn to become a teacher by teaching." So I kept going. And my quiet voice got louder, my nerves got smaller, and I started to actually feel like a teacher. And I never looked back. I gave "Yes" a shot, I said "More please" to new opportunities, to more classes.
Now I am starting a new chapter, opening the door to teaching full-time. I am trying to keep my eyes open, my mind receptive. I am finding and honoring my boundaries. I am looking for balance, on my mat and off. I want to be fully for my studio and my students when I am working, and fully for my loving boyfriend Luke and our two wonderful, sweet dachshunds, Olive and Blinkin, when I am at home. I am striving to improve, to never stop learning, but also to stay immersed in each moment, to be right where I am (even if I mess up!)
I hope to always have the heart and soul of a student. I like to make life more colorful and adventurous, for myself and for those around me. I want to share my gifts with the world and help others do the same.
And I don't know where this journey will take me next, but I am certainly loving the ride...almost as much as I love puppies!!
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Spotify: Charlotte Lottie Kilbourn
Yoga Alliance RYT 86950
After sixteen years of practicing yoga, I felt inspired to take TPY Teacher Training to deepen my own practice with no expectation that I might one day teach. As training progressed, I found myself drawn to the possibility of teaching in order to give back some small measure of the gifts my teachers have given me over the years. As a teacher, I hope that I am able to share what I find beautiful about yoga with others.
I am lucky to have the staunch support of my husband, John, our two sons, Johnny and Nate, and our dog, Buddy."
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YA RYT 196330
"Smile, and show up for life! 😃"
Stacey received her 200 RYT through Carly Grace Power Yoga RYS, 2016.
Stacey Leebern is committed to growing and bettering the community, traveling, learning, and being a contribution to Thunderbolt Power Yoga through her personal journey.
Stacey is passionate about giving back, and shows her active contribution by supporting the arts, foster children, the ballet, and she is currently active in the Alzheimers Association, GCAPP, SCAD, and Zac and Shelly Brown's Camp Southern Ground.
Stacey has a love of travel, she loves to see history, nature, and explore the different cultures and sights that travel offers. Stacey loves traveling with her family and sharing the experiences with her children. Stacey now tries to experience yoga in different places, and enjoys diving into new communities to see what they have to offer. Stacey loves education and will continue to further her knowledge through reading, research, travel and taking classes - especially as it relates to her health, fitness and yoga practice.
Stacey has always had a strong interest in medicine. She learned that yoga can actually become your “medicine," when Dr. Letha Griffin and Dr. Rattandeep Singh, both prescribed to her that she make yoga a part of her everyday practice. Through this, Stacey learned the true importance of the practice of yoga, and has since began integrating her personal experience and healing in her teaching. Medicine- both Western and Eastern, have always fascinated Stacey, most recently leading her to Laughing Lotus Love Skool for a 50 hour Ayurveda Intensive.
Stacey says, "Yoga has been life changing. At first I wanted to learn more about it because I knew it was to become a part of my daily life. During this time I had been researching for a while about what area of health and fitness I was going to go in to. After completing her 200 Hour Training through RYS Carly Grace Power Yoga, her vision became clear. Yoga has been so incredibly beneficial to my life, mentally and physically, and I want to share the benefits with others. I hope to encourage people and students to just “do it!" so that they can receive the benefits - not just on the mat- but off, as well. I truly feel blessed and honored to have the ancient practice of yoga in my life and to be able to guide and teach others. It excites me, and I hope to continue to grow, learn, and teach well into the future."
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"Whatever you do, do it with all your heart"
Kirsten received her RYT 200 from Carly Grace Power Yoga RYS in 2016. She grew up in Boston and moved to Atlanta in 2015 to be closer to her sister and nephews. When she's not on her mat, Kirsten loves to cook, spend time with family and friends, or curl up on the couch with her puppies, a good book, and a glass of wine.
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Spotify: Kirsten DeWitt
Yoga Alliance RYT 196670
My career and my family defined me until around 2012 when I began to transform my occasional yoga practice into a journey of deep inquiry, asana, community and lots of sweat! I began to study the deeper and centuries old reason for stepping on to our mats and why we hold our poses, why we focus on deep breath in and out. What followed was personal growth fueled by inner tapas that burned away layers of distortion to reveal innate awareness and connection that fully changed my life off the mat.
When Thunderbolt Power Yoga opened in Buckhead and eventually had the first teacher training early 2015 I took the teaching plunge! I never saw myself as a yoga teacher, that seemed like too lofty of a goal for the person I thought I was. But through our close and extended teaching community I opened up and developed a love for the journey of teaching that transformed me for good. My heart is now consistently full with gratitude for our community and the peacefulness that this journey has brought to my life.
When I’m not practicing yoga or working at an office, you can find me out with Winston, my 13 year old terrier mix, or spending time with friends and family around the city I love. Or if I’m lucky I could be boarding a plane, yoga mat in hand, to someplace I’ve never been as world travel is my passion!Follow Lynn on Instagram